• Northwest Apostolic

Prov 18:24A man that hath friends must shew himself friendly: and there is a friend that sticketh closer than a brother

In life we have the potential of having many friendships if we will show ourselves friendly. Naturally some friends will be closer than others. Individuals whose relationships are forged through enduring hardships or tragedies together typically remain friends forever. Having friends is a mutual two way street. Friendships can never be true if it is a one way relationship.

We all typically have a bubble that we are uncomfortable with allowing just anybody into it. Some people seldom if ever let another individual get close to them and struggle with not having friends. In order to have friends we must become vulnerable. Yes we risk the chance of being hurt but we cannot allow ourselves to become isolated as a result of past hurts or betrayal. Some isolate themselves because they refuse to forgive others. Strong friendships make allowances for others humanity and work through differences in order to maintain their closeness.

In Exo 33:11 the LORD spake unto Moses face to face, as a man speaketh unto his friend. We know that Moses’ approach to God was with a proper fear and awe. They met together on the mountain that profoundly affected Moses. So close was their conversation that Moses’ face had to be covered with a vail in order for others to see him! Only God can affect us in this way! If we will allow God into our bubble he can touch us supernaturally to have a countenance that others can see when they come into contact with us.

Another individual is mentioned in the following verses as God’s friend:

II Chr 20:7 Art not thou our God, who didst drive out the inhabitants of this land before thy people Israel, and gavest it to the seed of Abraham thy friend for ever?

Isa 41:8 “But thou, Israel, art my servant, Jacob whom I have chosen, the seed of Abraham my friend”.

Abraham did not stagger at the promises of God. To be God’s friend we need to consider what Abraham did. James said, “And the scripture was fulfilled which saith, Abraham believed God, and it was imputed unto him for righteousness: and he was called the Friend of God”. James 2:23

Abraham’s belief (obedience) in God was counted as righteousness and as a result he was called, “The Friend of God”! If that’s what it takes then God count me in. I want to be called, “The Friend of God” too!

God will never betray us and if God ever wounds us we must remember that he does it for our own good. Prov 27:6 says, “Faithful are the wounds of a friend; but the kisses of an enemy are deceitful”. Prov 27:17 says, “Iron sharpeneth iron; so a man sharpeneth the countenance of his friend”.

A true friend will not always agree with you. A true friend will wound us on occasion as needed. The writer of Hebrews said, “Whom the Lord loveth he chastens”. We must embrace this if we are going to have God as our friend.

Prov 17:17A friend loveth at all times, and a brother is born for adversity”. God loves us at all times. God will stick closer to us than a brother! We need a brother in the day of our adversity and as brothers and sisters we can let others down though not intentionally. God will never let us down! Jesus on the night he was betrayed still called Judas his friend.

Jesus came to seek and to save that which was lost. He was derogatorily called a friend of publicans and sinners! I am thankful that when I wasn’t friendly towards him that he worked at becoming my friend. Jesus tore down the wall that separated us. He died on the cross and the vail was rent in two. Jesus gave us access to him so that we could become friends.

The Shulamite maiden described her lover, a type of Jesus Christ in Song of Sol 5:16 as this: “His mouth is most sweet: yea, he is altogether lovely. This is my beloved, and this is my friend, O daughters of Jerusalem”.

John 15:15 "Henceforth I call you not servants; for the servant knoweth not what his lord doeth: but I have called you friends; for all things that I have heard of my Father I have made known unto you".

We have a friend in Jesus today in the midst of life’s challenges!

God bless,

Pastor Ken Winkler

  • Northwest Apostolic

Psalm 126:5-6They that sow in tears shall reap in joy. He that goeth forth and weepeth, bearing precious seed, shall doubtless come again with rejoicing, bringing his sheaves with him”.

Weeping may endure for a night but joy cometh in the morning! Psa 30:5

God has a very unique harvest that many looking from the outside in do not understand. I have had the distinct pleasure of attending the funerals of wonderful saints of God where in the midst of great sorrow and tears there was an amazing amount of joy that was unspeakable and full of glory.

Trials and tribulations are a necessary part of a Christian’s journey in life which brings about a harvest of joy that cannot be explained. Tears are the language of the heart and while brokenness is not necessarily something we look forward to in life, they that sow in tears shall reap in joy! The joy of the Lord is our spiritual strength just as food is provides strength to our bodies.

Is it no wonder then that while going forth weeping bearing the precious seed of God’s word that the end result is rejoicing when the harvest is brought forth as a result? Peter said that we have been given exceeding great and precious promises that allows us to be partakers of God’s divine nature while escaping the corruption that is in the world through lust.

When we receive the word of God sown in our hearts through the preaching of the word we rejoice when that word, coupled with the Spirit of God, sets us free from the sin and corruption that is in the world. Repentance typically involves the turning away from those things which we know are sinful and wrong and many times involves a sorrowful expression of tears in the process. When our repentance affects us that deeply, it opens us up for the indwelling Spirit of God to fill us within. Following repentance, water baptism in the precious name of Jesus washes our sins away.

There is a great feeling associated with knowing that God has forgiven us and cleansed us from all of our unrighteousness. While this is a part of the wonderful experience of salvation that typically involves tears, there is one more part of the equation that is even greater than the feeling of forgiveness.

There is a harvest of joy that comes when God fills us with the baptism of the Holy Ghost! This experience began on the day of Pentecost as recorded by the beloved physician Luke in Acts 2:1-4. The promise of the Father came into an upper room and filled all that were gathered together praying as Jesus had instructed them to do. The beautiful experience could not be contained to that room as it spilled out into the streets. Before the day was ended, about 3000 souls would experience the same joy of being filled with the Holy Ghost, the Spirit of God.

There is only one thing more beautiful and joyful than finding forgiveness and receiving the baptism of the Holy Ghost ourselves; it is in being a part of seeing others receive the same experience. Everyone rejoices when a baby is born and so it is when individuals are born again of the water and Spirit just like the bible says in the gospel of John.

I want to encourage everyone to go forth weeping bearing precious seed, the word of God, and we will reap in the harvest of joy while rejoicing over what God will do!

God’s blessings to all

Pastor Ken Winkler

  • Northwest Apostolic

Song of Solomon 1:1-4 “The song of songs, which is Solomon's. Let him kiss me with the kisses of his mouth: for thy love is better than wine. Because of the savour of thy good ointments thy name is as ointment poured forth, therefore do the virgins love thee. Draw me, we will run after thee: the king hath brought me into his chambers: we will be glad and rejoice in thee, we will remember thy love more than wine: the upright love thee”

From the days of Adam and Eve in the garden Satan has always made sin very alluring. Eve being tempted by the serpent saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise.

The human eye is an amazing thing. Light must be present in order for us to see while on the other hand there is a darkness that can be felt. Light is not the absence of darkness but darkness is the absence of light! Spiritually speaking we need the Light in order to navigate our way through the darkness of this world.

The darkness of night draws out many sinful activities. Individuals use the cover of darkness to hide their evil deeds. Jesus said in John 3:19-21,“And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved. But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God”.

The lights that light up places like Disney Land have a wonderful attraction to our natural senses. Lights have been used for advertising since the beginning of their invention. In Jesus is life and that life is the light of men. John said that the light shined in darkness and the darkness comprehended it not. John the Baptist was sent to bear witness of the Light, the true Light which lighteth every man that cometh into the world.

It is not a coincidence that Jesus is the Light. In him is no darkness at all. There is a wonderful attraction to our great God and Saviour, Jesus Christ! When I used to sit in the darkness of the dimly lit bars that had me bound by alcohol, otherwise known as “spirits”, outside there was a Light that was calling me and drawing me away from the life of darkness I was living. What a beautiful day it was when the Light of this glorious gospel shined in my dark heart! The light illuminated my sins, which were many, and drew me away from them. I turned from the darkness I was living in and made my way to the Light, Jesus Christ! “Come see a man that told me everything that I have ever done”, said the woman at the well when the Light exposed her sin, past and present. Instead of running away from Jesus in anger she ran away in hope! Running back to the city she proclaimed, “Is not this the Messiah, the one we have been longing for”? The entire city followed her to where Jesus, the Light, was. Many believe on her word while others checked him out first.

We need to represent the Light of the world to others so they too can come to Jesus and find that they no longer have to be engulfed by the darkness of the world of sin. Song of Solomon said, “Draw me and we will run after thee”!

Peter wrote, “But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light: Which in time past were not a people, but are now the people of God: which had not obtained mercy, but now have obtained mercyI Pet 2:9-10

Thank God for his mercies which are new every morning. God has called us out of the lifestyle of darkness and brought us into the banqueting house of his marvelous light and his banner over us is love.

Today let us show forth our praises to Jesus for drawing us to the Light. Let it be your prayer today that says, "Draw me, Lord, and I will run after thee". Don’t let Satan’s lies deceive you into thinking that the darkness that he presents is light; it is nothing but an illusion! Sin will lead you to darkness but Jesus will lead you to His marvellous light!

Thank you for reading today and may the Lord continue to bless you.

Pastor Ken Winkler